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Welcome to your Daily News Digest. Here’s what’s happening today:
Mathieu van der Poel takes over the Tour of Britain GC lead with an impressive stage 4 victory, Primoz Roglic signs a lengthy extension with Jumbo-Visma, Rohan Dennis gives his first major interview since pulling out of the Tour de France. Those stories and more in today’s Daily News Digest.
Story of the Day: Van der Poel takes over Tour of Britain lead with stage 4 win
Mathieu van der Poel (Corendon-Circus) stormed into the race lead at the OVO Energy Tour of Britain with an impressive stage 4 victory.
The lumpy 172.2-kilometer stage from Gateshead looked set to come down to a tight uphill sprint battle in Kendal before the 24-year-old Dutchman put in an incredible surge in the final few hundred meters and pulled clear to take a win that was anything but close. He finished three seconds ahead of Jasper De Buyst (Lotto-Soudal) with Simon Clarke (EF Education First) taking third on the day.
“It was a bit of gamble because I didn’t really know where the finish line was,” Van der Poel said of his late move. “I got bumped in yesterday and I didn’t want that to happen again today, so I went full gas 300 meters to go. It was a bit far but got I got a gap and the final hundred meters was a bit easier.”
Van der Poel’s stage 4 victory propelled him into the GC lead. He has a one-second gap on Matteo Trentin (Mitchelton-Scott) in the overall standings at the midway point of the eight-day race.
The Tour of Britain rolls on with a 174.1-kilometer stage in and around Birkenhead on Wednesday that should favor a fast finisher.
Bora-Hansgrohe’s Peter Sagan will soon return to the road at the Canadian GPs after what will have been a three-week stretch away from racing. That’s a long time for Sagan fans to go without watching him do his thing, but fortunately the three-time world champ has been diligent about recording himself having fun on the mountain bike in the meantime.
Probably less fun was this wild moment for Nacer Bouhanni (Cofidis) at the GP Fourmies on Monday. The Frenchman is fortunately okay after crashing in spectacular fashion in the final sprint.
Things went better for Pascal Ackermann (Bora-Hansgrohe), who won ahead of Jasper Philipsen (UAE-Team Emirates) and Boy van Poppel (Roompot-Charles).
Roglic renews with Jumbo-Visma
Jumbo-Visma has locked in current Vuelta a España leader Primoz Roglic with a lengthy contract extension. The 29-year-old Slovenian will ride on with Jumbo-Visma through the 2023 season.
“I like the way this team works. I am enjoying being part of it,” Roglic said in the team’s announcement of the new contract. “It’s all about collaboration. Together we can achieve great goals. As a cyclist, I entered this team as a relative beginner and I have developed with the help of the team.”
Roglic, whose development from a former ski jumper into a Grand Tour contender is known to practically anyone who follows cycling by this point, has been with the Jumbo-Visma organization since 2016 when he jumped up to the WorldTour level after three years with the Adria-Mobil Continental team. In that time, he has emerged as one of the most impressive stage racers in the sport. He has won stages at all three Grand Tours, and in this year alone he has nabbed overall titles at the UAE Tour, Tirreno-Adriatico, and the Tour de Romandie.
His new contract secures a very bright future for Jumbo-Visma’s Grand Tour aspirations. The team recently signed Tom Dumoulin through 2022, while Steven Kruijswijk is locked in through 2021.
Dennis: Tour de France withdrawal was ‘blown out of proportion’
Rohan Dennis (Bahrain-Merida) has given his first major interview since his surprise DNF from the 2019 Tour de France this July, telling The Advertiser that felt his Tour withdrawal was “blown out of proportion,” and that he is still targeting the individual time trial at the upcoming Yorkshire world road championships.
The 29-year-old Australian has not raced since mid-July, when he left the Tour with barely any explanation on the eve of a time trial stage for which he would have been a top favorite. It has been reported by various cycling media outlets that Dennis left the race over disagreements with his Bahrain-Merida squad regarding equipment, but neither rider nor team has publicly gone into detail on the situation.
“What I did was pull out of a race, it’s been blown out of proportion so much that people have slammed me for being everything under the sun,” Dennis said. “I’ve read pretty well every post [on social media] and people didn’t get a response from me so they started sending my wife direct messages.”
Dennis pointed out that he has tried to show restraint despite what he feels has been a frustrating media and fan response to his decision to leave the Tour.
“Not once did I bad-mouth any sponsor or the team or any other rider when I pulled out or before I pulled out in the media. I was more than happy to talk to the media until that last day,” he said.
“Have other people said things and put out rumors? Yes. But I haven’t. It’s only fair for all parties.”
Dennis said he would attempt to defend his world TT title in Yorkshire on an unmarked bike with components from the Australian national team, but that for now he expects to continue with Bahrain-Merida in 2020.
“I’ve only tried to improve the team,” he said. “At the moment yeah, I’ll be there [with Bahrain-Merida next year].”
Van Avermaet, Gilbert, and Evenepoel confirmed for Belgian worlds squad
The Belgian national team has announced a few of the names set to comprise its squad at Yorkshire road worlds. Unsurprisingly, there’s plenty of firepower in the team.
Greg Van Avermaet (CCC), Philippe Gilbert (Deceuninck-Quick-Step), and Remco Evenepoel (Deceuninck-Quick-Step) all stand out as a potential favorites for the lumpy Yorkshire course. Oliver Naesen (Ag2r La Mondiale) and Dylan Teuns (Bahrain-Merida) will make up part of an impressive support squad.
The remaining three riders will be announced next week.
Dombrowski to join UAE-Team Emirates in 2020
Joe Dombrowski has signed a two-year deal to join UAE-Team Emirates next season. The 28-year-old American is closing out his fifth year as a member of the organization now known as EF Education First.
“The team has made some good and interesting signings in the transfer window and I’m excited to be part of the where the team is going,” Dombrowski said.
The UAE squad has indeed been busy this transfer season, adding youngsters Brandon McNulty and Mikkel Bjerg to an already strong young core headlined by Tadej Pogacar. In Dombrowski, the team picks up a strong climber who recently won a stage and took third on GC at the Tour of Utah, previously winning the overall title there in 2015.
Hosking and Allen to replace Brown and Roy in Australian worlds lineup
The Mitchelton-Scott duo of Grace Brown and Sarah Roy will miss worlds due to injuries.
Australian Cycling has announced an update to the women’s roster for Yorkshire that will now feature Mitchelton-Scott’s Jessica Allen and Alé-Cipollini’s Chloe Hosking instead. They join Brodie Chapman (Tibco-SVB), Tiffany Cromwell (Canyon-SRAM), Lauren Kitchen (FDJ Nouvelle-Aquitaine Futuroscope), and Mitchelton-Scott’s Lucy Kennedy and Amanda Spratt.
Long road to recovery for Urán following Vuelta crash
Rigoberto Urán (EF Education First) is still in the hospital after sustaining serious injuries in a crash on stage 6 of the Vuelta a España. The 32-year-old Colombian has posted an update on his status on Instagram.
“Life and cycling have dealt me some heavy blows, but nothing like what happened this weekend,” he wrote, explaining that he spent seven hours in surgery. The crash left him with injuries to his collarbone, shoulder blade, ribs, vertebrae, and lung.
“Now patience is needed to get out of here and recover.”
Prosecutor pushes for six-month sentence for Vinokourov in corruption case
The prosecutor pursuing a corruption case in a Belgian court against Alexander Vinokourov and Alexandr Kolobnev is pushing for a six-month prison sentence for both former road pros, according to L’Equipe. Vinokourov is accused of bribing Kolobnev – with a payment of 150,000 euros – to let him win Liège-Bastogne-Liège in April of 2010. Vinokourov and Kolobnev rode into the finale of the Monument Classic together before Vinokourov pulled clear to take the victory.
L’Equipe reports that prosecutors are also seeking to fine Vinokourov 100,000 euros and Kolobnev 50,000 euros, as well as confiscating 150,000 euros from Kolobnev’s bank account.
A judgement will be issued on October 8.
Coming up at the Vuelta
After a rest day, the Vuelta a España peloton gets back to racing with a 219.6-kilometer stage 17.
Without a single categorized climb on the way from Aranda de Duero to Guadalajara, the stage should give the sprinters an opportunity to battle for the victory.
In case you missed it …
Feature Image: Mathieu van der Poel wins stage 4 of the Tour of Britain. Photo: SWPics/Cor Vos © 2019